Plastic and reconstructive surgery : Specialists

What is plastic and reconstructive surgery?

This branch of surgery is performed for medical reasons, for example to restore normal function to a part of the body or to correct a problem, e.g. skin graft for a burn.

Plastic surgery is comprised of two areas:

  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Cosmetic surgery (also known as aesthetic surgery)

Cosmetic surgery is dealt with separately in this section.

How do they differ?

The difference between the two is that plastic surgeon is carried out to repair an injury or to enable a part of the body to function normally as before. It is often undertaken following an accident or injury.

Cosmetic surgery is performed to improve an aspect of one’s physical appearance. An example of this is a rhytidectomy or facelift or breast augmentation (increase the size of the breasts).

What is a plastic surgeon?

A plastic surgeon is trained in both reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. Reconstructive surgery usually forms the major part of their work with cosmetic surgery playing a minor role.

What does a plastic surgeon do?

He or she will use skin grafts to treat burns, repair facial fractures, remove a tumour or perform surgery on the hand. Other procedures include scar and laceration repair and microsurgery.

Microsurgery is a type of surgery in which tissue is transferred from one area of the body to another or the re-attachment of a severed limb.

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